1. Carry a lunch sack. If you don't have a refrigerator at your worksite, that doesn't mean you can't bring a perishable lunch to work. With an insulated lunch bag, you can bring chilled meals and snacks to work that will keep until you eat them. Check out a well-stocked kitchen or gift store; men can find sacks that are just as masculine as the old-fashioned metal lunchboxes, and women can buy insulated sacks that look just like cute handbags or tote bags.
See more 6 more lunch boxes you'll love!
2. While you're in the kitchen, pack a few snacks. Why resort to vending-machine junk when you can bring your own, more gourmet bites? Throw a few items such as low-fat mozzarella cheese sticks, hummus, sliced apples, mandarin oranges, and fruit and yogurt into plastic containers, stow them in your lunch sack, and keep the sack in the refrigerator. The whole exercise takes less than five minutes and saves you the hassle of doing it the next morning.
3. Make your lunch while you make dinner. If your workplace cafeteria doesn't offer healthy options, you'll best meet your nutritional needs by bringing your own lunch. This isn't as much of a pain as it sounds -- just make tomorrow's lunch tonight, while you're making dinner. You'll be in the kitchen anyway! One thing you can do is make an extra serving of your dinner and set it aside for the next day. If you don't want to eat the same thing two days in a row, do something new with the main dinner ingredient. For example, slice some of the roasted chicken you just made and tuck it into a whole-wheat pita with some onion and apple slices, or toss it in with some whole-wheat pasta and broccoli.
Content continues below ad
4. Grill a dietitian for gourmet lunch suggestions. If eating the same snacks and lunches day in and day out is testing your fortitude, schedule a visit with a registered dietitian. These nutritional professionals have tons of creative ideas about healthy, time-saving snacks and meals you can bring to work, no matter what your schedule or workplace setup is. They'll even take into account the foods you like most.
5. Organize a weekly 'soup club' with your coworkers. Everyone likes soup, and most people have a favorite soup recipe at home. Once a week, have everyone who signs up for the club bring enough soup for all. Just be sure to set these ground rules: no cream, no coconut milk, and not too much salt. The cook should also bring in enough copies of the recipe for everyone.
6. 'Lunchpool' with three health-conscious colleagues. 'Lunchpooling' is like carpooling, but for meal preparation: Band together with a few friends who are tired of the hassle of bringing their lunch every day, and assign each person a day of the week. On their assigned days, 'lunchpool' club members will prepare a healthy meal that will feed all four people in the club. It's less cooking for everyone involved and a fun opportunity to try some new dishes you might want to rotate into your own menu.
Content continues below ad
7. Highlight healthy options on your favorite takeout menus. It happens all the time -- someone comes around with a takeout menu and invites you to order. And of course the menu is full of choices that would blow your entire fat, calories, and salt allotment for the rest of the day. No problem -- that's precisely why you've done your homework and identified two or three dishes that won't sabotage your eating plan. Ask for one of those dishes and you won't even have to look temptation in the face.
6 Tips for Healthier Grilling
10 Diabetes Super Foods
8 Breakfast Recipes for Energy and Appetite Control